Special Olympics BC Local:
When and how did you get involved with Special Olympics?
I first became involved with Special Olympics in 2011 for figure skating.
Will these be your first Special Olympics Canada Games? If not, which other National Games did you compete in, and in what sports?
I went to the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Newfoundland for figure skating where I competed in Level 3 women's and Level 1 pairs with my brother Michael Phillips. I also went to the 2018 Special Olympics Summer Canada Games in Nova Scotia for athletics. I have also recently gotten back from the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi for athletics where I had a personal best and medalled in every single one of my events, bringing home two golds and a bronze medal.
What were your results in the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games? How did you feel about your performance?
I came home with a silver medal. I feel that this was the best performance I've ever done and this was indicated by my results and report card from the figure skating judges.
What does it mean to you to be part of Special Olympics Team BC 2020?
I'm excited to be part of Team BC and able to represent the sport of figure skating. I've worked hard these past four years and have been able to improve my skills enough that I can compete at a higher level for these Games.
What is your goal for these National Games?
I want to get another personal-best performance and I really want to focus on improving my spins.
What does competing at National Games mean to you?
Possibilities and dreams. I really would like to make it to the World Winter Games. Competing at the National Games means that there is the possibility to train hard to try and make my dreams come true.
What do you like most about the sport you will compete in at National Games?
Off the ice it's really nerve wracking but as soon as my blade hits the ice, it's just me, the ice and my music until the music stops, and I realize that I'm at a competition in front of a crowd cheering me on.
What is your favourite Special Olympics experience to date?
Competing in high jump at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games. I pushed myself harder than ever and I really had to focus and not get into my head too much. When I jumped 1.20m, I secured the gold medal but needed to continue going until I couldn't jump any higher. I was so excited to get gold but wanted to also get a new personal best. I was able to jump 1.34m beating my previous personal best of 1.32. I was able to focus and push myself even harder and jump 1.37m! I was so overcome with emotion that I collapsed to the ground with tears of happiness.
What would you tell someone about Special Olympics to encourage them to get involved?
There is a lot of opportunities, the people and friends you meet will become friends for life. The coaches are absolutely amazing with the support they give that they even get up at 5 a.m. to cheer you on as you are competing halfway around the world.
What other Special Olympics sports do you participate in?
Athletics, 3-on-3 basketball, swimming.
Please tell us a little bit more about yourself! What else would you like people to know about you?
I am 16 years old and going into grade 11. I've been figure skating since I was four years old. Other sports I enjoy include both Special Olympics sports (athletics, 3-on-3 basketball and swimming) and non Special Olympics Sports (5-pin bowling and softball). I have a large family that includes 10 siblings. I love to travel, go camping and fishing, spend time with my family and I love gaming. I also like sleeping in because, of course, I'm a teenager.
What is one word you would use to describe yourself? :)